Thursday, May 27, 2010

Strawberry Brown Butter Bettys
Adapted generously from Gourmet

Makes 6 muffin-sized desserts

3/4 stick salted or unsalted butter
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
6 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
1/8 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs, or make your own, below*)
1 1/2 to 2 cups strawberries, stemmed and sliced (I forgot to jot down the weight, but it was less than a half pound of whole berries)
?Softly whipped cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

In a small pot, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, reduce heat to medium-low. The butter will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Don’t take your eyes off the pot as while you may be impatient for it to start browning, the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point where it burns is less than a minute. Remove from heat.

Lightly butter muffin cups with some of brown butter, then sprinkle with granulated sugar. Roll bread slices with a rolling pin to flatten. Brush both sides with additional brown butter, then gently fit into muffin cups.

Stir together brown sugar, zest, salt and panko, then add strawberries and toss to coat. Stir in remaining brown butter. Heap strawberry mixture into cups, pressing gently.

Cover pan with foil and bake 15 minutes. Uncover and bake until strawberries are very tender, about 10 minutes more. Let stand 5 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

* Make your own panko: Sure, it’s not exactly the same thing but I’m convinced that you can make very panko-like crumbs if you do the following — Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tear one to two slices of soft, crustless white bread into 1-inch pieces and pulse them in the food processor until coarsely ground. This will make a generous half cup. Transfer crumbs to a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool. Use.
Ingredients required to make the fondant recipe:

1 Tbsp of unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup of cold water
1 tsp of almond extract
1/2 cup of light corn syrup (If a corn syrup is not available, you can substitute it with a sugar syrup made with 1-1/4 cups sugar and 1/3 cup water, boiled together until syrupy)
1 Tbsp of glycerin (some recipes say it’s optional, believe me, it’s a must)
2 lbs 10X confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp of white vegetable shortening
Directions how to make the fondant recipe:
Sprinkle the gelatin over cold water in a small bowl and let it rest for 2 minutes to soften
Place the bowl in a microwave for 30 seconds on High, until the gelatin dissolves
Add the Almond extract

Add the corn syrup and the glycerin and stir until the mixture is smooth and clear (if the mixture is not turning smooth and clear, microwave it for an additional 15 to 20 seconds on high and stir again)
Sift 1 1/2 pounds of the sugar into a large bowl
Make a hole in the sugar and pour the liquid mixture to it
Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes sticky
Sift some of the remaining 1/2 pound of sugar onto a smooth work surface and add as much of the remaining sugar as the mixture will take
Knead the fondant, adding a little more sugar if necessary, to form a smooth, pliable mass
Rub the vegetable shortening on your thumbs and knead it into the fondant
Wrap the fondant in plastic wrap and place it in a tightly sealed container to prevent it from drying out
If the icing dries out and harden it can often be revived by popping it into a microwave oven for a few seconds and then kneading it back to life.
Coconut Simple Syrup
adapted from Throwdown's Toasted Coconut Cake by Bobby Flay

1-1/2 c. water
1 Tbsp. + 1 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 tsp. coconut extract

Bring water and 1 Tbsp. sugar to a boil. Stir in the coconut, remove from the heat and let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Strain the liquid into a clean saucepan, add the 1 c. sugar and extract, bring to a boil and let cook until the mixture is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

So, apparently (at least according to the people on this particular episode of Throwdown!) coconut cake is something of a tradition in the South. *shrug* It looked delicious on the show, but I realized when I decided to make it that I had nothing to measure it against. I'm pretty sure I've never tasted a coconut cake. Of any kind. Nevertheless, I still think it's fair to say this is an incredibly delicious cake.

Toasted Coconut:
2 c. sweetened flaked coconut

Coconut Simple Syrup:
1-1/2 c. water
1 Tbls. + 1 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 tsp. coconut extract

Coconut Custard:
1-1/2 c. whole milk
1-1/2 c. unsweetened coconut milk
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
8 large egg yolks (reserve 6 whites for cake)
2/3 c. granulated sugar
6 Tbls. cornstarch
4 tsp. coconut rum
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. coconut extract

Coconut Filling:
1-1/2 c. coconut custard (recipe above), cold
1-1/2 c. very cold heavy cream
1 tsp. coconut extract

Coconut Buttercream:
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened, but cool
2-1/3 c. confectioners' sugar
3/4 c. coconut custard (recipe above), same temperature as butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. coconut extract
Pinch fine sea salt

1 c. whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, at room remperature
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
2-1/4 c. cake flour
1-3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 Tbls. + 1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. fine sea salt
12 Tbls. unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, slightly cold

For the toasted coconut:
Preheat oven to 325.
Spread the coconut evenly onto a baking sheet and toast until lightly golden brown, stirring once, 8-10 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the coconut sit in the oven until very dry and crunchy, up to 15 minutes longer (check frequently, it may take as little as 5 minutes).

For the simple syrup:
Bring water and 1 Tbls. sugar to a boil. Stir in the coconut, remove from the heat and let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Strain the liquid into a clean saucepan, add the 1 c. sugar and extract, bring to a boil and let cook until the mixture is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

For the custard:
Combine the milks and vanilla bean seeds in a medium, nonreactive saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.

Whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Slowly whisk the warm milk into the egg mixture, then return the mixture to the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and whisk in the rum and both extracts. Let cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.

For the filling:
Whip cream and extract until soft peaks form. Fold custard into whipped mixture.

For the buttercream:
Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the coconut custard, extracts and salt and beat until combined and smooth.

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment, then butter and flour over parchment and sides.

Whisk together the milk, egg whites, vanilla bean seeds, and both extracts in a medium bowl.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. With mixer running at low speed, add the butter, one piece at a time and continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs. Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 1-1/2 minutes.

With mixture on low speed, add remaining 1/2 cup of the milk mixture, increase speed to medium and beat 30 seconds more. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 20 seconds longer. Divde the batter evenly between the cake pans and smooth the tops using a rubber spatula.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few crumbs attached, 22-32 minutes. Cool in the pans on baking racks for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the side of the pan and invert cakes onto the baking rack, removing parchment paper, and let cool completely, about 45 minutes.

To Assemble:
Using a long serrated knife, slice each cake horizontally into 2 layers. Reserve 1 of the flat bottom layers for the top of the cake. Place another layer on a cardboard round (or cake plate) cut side up and brush with some of the coconut simple syrup. Spoon 1/3 of the coconut filling onto the cake and using a small offset spatula, spread it into an even layer, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge of the cake. Repeat with 2 more layers. Brush the cut side of the reserved cake layer with syrup and place cut side down on top of the cake.

Frost the sides and top of the cake with the buttercream. Pat the toasted coconut onto the sides of the cake and sprinkle the remaining coconut on the top of the cake.

It seems complicated, right? A lot of the comments centered around how long the cake takes to make. Whatever. It took about as long as any fantastic dessert I've ever made. I made the toasted coconut, simple syrup, custard, and cake all on Saturday, then made the filling and buttercream and assembled it on Sunday. No big deal.

A couple of things:

You will probably have simple syrup leftover. It should stay good in the refrigerator for about 3-4 months. I'm sure I can come up with some tropical cocktail that you could use it in if you don't know what else to do with it. I'll work on that.

The custard recipe as I've given it to you is double the original recipe. This will give you plenty to add in to the filling and buttercream (I also doubled the filling recipe). I only had about 3/4 cup of custard leftover, so I'm convinced that doubling it is the way to go. I separated the custard into the different amounts that I would need for filling and buttercream while it was still a little warm. It seemed like that would be easier to deal with than when it was cold and rather stiff.

The coconut buttercream...I don't even know what to say. I've never really considered myself to be a big coconut fan--you know, I like it but it's not my favorite thing in the world. This buttercream quickly became one of my...probably...5 favorite things. It is beyond delicious.

Note that your frosting job doesn't have to be perfect, you're just going to sprinkle and press the toasted coconut into it anyway, don't fret.

I had plenty of toasted coconut (as you can see)--probably would have been enough to sprinkle some over the filling in each layer. I think that would have made for a nice crunch in the middle of the cake. Next time.

And, I have to say, it's such a good cake. The cake itself is really moist and dense. The coconut in every element turns out so nicely, it's not too much, it's certainly not too sweet. And the toasted coconut just cuts through everything to add a wonderful crunch and a whole different layer to the coconut flavor.
Kazan Lemon Bars

1-1/2 sticks butter
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Mix until crumbly. Press into an 8 x 8 pan. Bake high in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes.

3 eggs, slightly beaten
3 Tbls. all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
juice of 1-1/2 lemons

Combine ingredients, pour on top of baked portion. Bake another 20 minutes--take care not to overbake. Lemon topping should resemble custard with a faint browning in patches. Dust with powdered sugar while hot. Cut into small squares when cool.

This recipe is easily doubled for a 9 x 13 pan. Cooking times are very approximate--the recipe originated at sea level--so adjust as necessary. Resist the urge to cut large squares, the bars are very rich.
Chocolate Stout Cake

Cake ingredients
2 cups stout (such as Guinness)
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
4 cups all purpose flour
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sour cream

2 cups whipping cream
1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
print a shopping list for this recipe

PreparationFor cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper. Butter paper. Bring 2 cups stout and 2 cups butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.

For icing:
Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Refrigerate until icing is spreadable, stirring frequently, about 2 hours.

Place 1 cake layer on plate. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake.
Black Forest Pie

Use a chocolate cookie crust (buy one, use your favorite recipe, whatev--I used the recipe that is part of the BAKED Diner-Style Chocolate Pie. I used a different kind of cookie, though, perhaps that's why the crust didn't want to leave the pan. BUT, that didn't diminish the deliciousness AT ALL.

Use this recipe as written (you may remember, I multiplied it by 2.5 when I made French Silk pie a while back. Don't do that this time--it's the perfect amount as is for this pie. Pour into your chocolate cookie crust. Place plastic wrap over it (the plastic wrap should touch the filling so it doesn't develop a "skin"). Refrigerate while you make:

Cherry Topping:

1/2 c. + 2 T sugar
dash salt
1/8 c. cherry juice (drained from canned cherries)
2 c. cherries (approx. 1 can)
1/2 T butter
1/8 c. cherry juice
1-1/2 T cornstarch
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine sugar, salt, and 1/8 c. cherry juice in a saucepan. cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil.

Add cherries and butter; bring to a boil again. Boil 2 minutes.

Make a paste (slurry) of 1/8 c. cherry juice and cornstarch. Add to hot mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Remove from heat. Add vanilla extract. Cool completely.

Spoon cherry topping over chocolate filling and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Top each slice with freshly whipped cream.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Honey BBQ Ribs

Nothing says summer like these melt-in-your-mouth ribs. They're easy to make, and the 5-ingredient BBQ sauce is finger-licking flavorful. So fire up the grill and enjoy!

1 rack pork spareribs (about 4 pounds)

1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed French Onion Soup

3/4 cup ketchup

1/3 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1.Place the ribs into an 8-quart saucepot and add water to cover. Heat over medium-high heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the meat is tender. Drain the ribs well in a colander.
2.Heat the soup, ketchup, honey, garlic powder and black pepper in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes.
3.Lightly oil the grill rack and heat the grill to medium. Grill the ribs for 20 minutes or until they're cooked through, turning and brushing often with the soup mixture. Cut the ribs into serving-sized pieces.
Savory Grilled Beef Kabobs

Beef sirloin is threaded onto kabobs with mushrooms and green pepper, then grilled with an herb-seasoned basting sauce.

1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Beef Broth

1/4 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

OR 2 small cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 boneless beef sirloin steak

OR beef top round steak (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces

12 medium mushrooms

1 large green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)

1.Stir the broth, ketchup, oil, thyme, garlic powder and black pepper in a shallow, nonmetallic dish or gallon size resealable plastic bag. Add the beef, mushrooms and green pepper and toss to coat. Cover the dish or seal the bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2.Remove the beef and vegetables from the marinade. Thread the beef, mushrooms and green pepper alternately on 4 skewers.
3.Lightly oil the grill rack and heat the grill to medium. Grill the kabobs for 20 minutes or until the beef is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, turning and brushing often with the marinade. Discard any remaining marinade.
Simply Spicy Grilled Chicken

Smoky barbecue sauce combines with picante sauce to create an intriguing grilling sauce for chicken.

3/4 cup Pace® Picante Sauce

3/4 cup barbecue sauce

2 pounds chicken parts, skin removed

1 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice

2 green onions, sliced (about 1/4 cup)

Orange slices (optional)

Fresh thyme leaves (optional)

1.Stir the picante sauce and barbecue sauce in a small bowl. Reserve 3/4 cup for the rice.
2.Lightly oil the grill rack and heat the grill to medium. Grill the chicken for 20 minutes. Brush the chicken with the remaining picante sauce mixture. Grill for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through, turning and brushing often with the picante sauce mixture. Discard the remaining picante sauce mixture.
3.Cook the rice according to the package directions without salt. Stir in the reserved 3/4 cup picante sauce mixture and the onions. Serve the rice with the chicken. Garnish with the orange slices and thyme, if desired.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Peanut Butter S'mores

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 9


3 creamy peanut butter

9 HONEY MAID Honey Grahams, broken crosswise in half (18 squares)

7 OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, coarsely chopped (2/3 cup)

3 hot fudge ice cream topping

1/2 JET-PUFFED miniature marshmallows


SPREAD 1 tsp. of the peanut butter onto each of 9 of the graham squares. Top each with about 1 Tbsp. of the chopped cookies, 1 tsp. of the fudge sauce and 3 or 4 marshmallows.

COVER each with second graham square to make s'more. Place 4 or 5 of the s'mores on microwavable plate.

MICROWAVE on HIGH 10 to 15 seconds or until marshmallows begin to melt. Repeat with the remaining s'mores. Serve warm.
Orange Chicken and Vegetable Rice Bowl

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Servings: 6


2 vegetable oil

1 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts, cut into strips

2 broccoli florets

2 carrots, thinly sliced

1 medium onion, sliced

1 each yellow and red bell peppers, sliced

1 grated fresh ginger

1 (14 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 orange juice

1 grated orange zest

3 soy sauce

2 cornstarch

3 hot cooked brown rice


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet or wok; stir fry chicken until lightly browned; remove.

In same skillet heat remaining oil; stir fry vegetables and ginger 4 to 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender crisp.

Combine chicken broth, orange juice and zest, soy sauce and cornstarch in bowl and stir until smooth.

Add to skillet, stirring constantly. Boil 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in chicken and cook until heated through. Spoon over or toss with hot rice.
Lettuce, Tomato, Stripples and Quinoa Salad

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 8


1 Worthington® Stripples®

2 quinoa, cooked and cooled

3 tomatoes, chopped

3 stalks celery

1 bunch green onions, sliced

4 cucumbers, peeled and chopped

1 avocado, diced

1 shredded lettuce

1/4 low-fat mayonnaise

1/4 salt

1/4 pepper (optional)


Directions 1. Prepare Worthington® Stripples® per package instructions. Break into bite size pieces.

2. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, Worthington® Stripples®, and vegetables.

3. Combine mayonnaise with salt and pepper and toss lightly with salad ingredients.
BBQ Pork And Potato Tacos

12 servings
Are you looking for a hearty main course that won’t take forever to prepare? These delectable tacos will fit the bill. For added variety, offer additional toppings such as cooked corn or cole slaw.


2 prepared shredded pork in barbeque sauce*

20 refrigerated sliced potatoes (1 package)

24 ORTEGA® Taco Shells (12 ounces each)

Toppings: shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, SARGENTO® ChefStyle Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese


COMBINE pork and potatoes in large bowl.

FILL taco shells with pork mixture. Top with lettuce, tomato and cheese.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mexican Salad or Shoepeg Corn Salad

1 c chopped celery
1 c chopped green pepper (can use any bell pepper)
1 small red onion diced
1 small jar (2 oz) pimentos
1 can black eyed peas
1 can pinto beans
2 cans shoepeg corn
Boil 1 cup apple vinegar with 1 cup sugar. Let cool.
Drain all cans. Rinse black eyed peas and pinto beans. Combine everything in bowl with 1 cup canola oil. Stir and let sit over night. Serve with torilla chips. (Fritos scoops are the BEST with this.)

Thanks Anika McCarter
Birthday Peach Cobbler
by Krystal Webb from the Worldwide Ward Cookbook

1 c. sugar
1 c. water
12 fresh peaches, pitted and sliced OR 2(32 oz) cans sliced peaches with juice.
Blackberries and raspberries (optional)
1 white, yellow, or lemon cake mix
1/2 c. butter
1 (8oz) package cream cheese not in the tub
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350*. Butter a 9x13 inch pan. If using the fresh peaches, combine the 1 c. sugar and the water; stir until sugar is fully dissolved; set aside. If using canned peaches, drain the peaches and save 1/2 c. of the syrup. Spread the peaches evenly along the bottom of buttered pan. If using the berries add them also. Sprinkle the dry cake mix over the peaches. You may not have to use the entire mix, just evenly cover all the fruit. Cut the butter and cream cheese into small pats and dots and evenly spread across the pan. Pour the sugar mixture or the syrup over the cake mix. Combine the sugar, cinnamonm and nutmeg. Sprinkle across the top evenly making sure to cover the entire pan. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes. And then turn on the broil for your oven and broil for 5 minutes. You can serve this with whipping cream or vanilla ice cream.

This is a great treat when you want something different for a birthday or dessert.